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National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

1612 K Street N.W., Suite 1400
Washington, DC 20006


Contact: Aleli Samson

December 17, 2008

(202) 775-9555


Washington, DC – The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students, congratulates Anh “Joseph” Cao on being elected to represent Louisiana’s 2nd District in the 111th Congress on December 6, 2008. This makes Mr. Cao, a lawyer, the Nation’s first Vietnamese-American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and the 11th Asian Pacific American member of the 111th Congress.

“Asian Pacific American representation in our federal lawmaking body has always been very important and we are pleased that the current numbers reflect a record-high,” said NAPABA President Andrew T. Hahn, Sr. “Asian Pacific Americans have significant stakes in numerous issues that the next Congress will take on, including: veterans benefits for Filipinos who fought alongside American soldiers during World War II, legislation to restore protections against unlawful employment discrimination, family reunification and due process in immigration policy and access to justice for individuals with limited English proficiency.”

A Vietnamese refugee, Mr. Cao is a known advocate on behalf of the Vietnamese-American community, as a past volunteer and board member of Boat People S.O.S. (BPSOS), an organization that assists Vietnamese refugees and immigrants. “Anh Cao cares deeply about social justice, as evidenced in his work with BPSOS on issues of refugee rights, citizenship for Amerasians, and mental health for torture survivors,” said BPSOS Chair Tuyet Duong, who is also a member of NAPABA’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee and a founding member of the Vietnamese American Bar Association of the Greater Washington, DC Area. She added, “More recently, Mr. Gao fought against the city of New Orleans’ decision to dump hurricane debris in the proximity of the large Vietnamese community in Versailles.”

Mr. Cao is a 2000 law graduate of Loyola University. The eight other Asian Pacific American members of the U.S. House of Representatives are Steve Austria (D-HI), Eni F.H. Faleomavaega (D-Samoa), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Mike M. Honda (D-CA), Doris O. Matsui (D-CA), Gregorio “Kilili” Sablan (I-CNMAI), Bobby Scott (D-VA), and David Wu (D-WA). The two Asian Pacific American members of the U.S. Senate are Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI) and Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI). Senator Inouye and Representatives Faleomavaega, Hirono, Scott, and Wu are lawyers.


The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 40,000 attorneys and approximately 57 local Asian Pacific American bar associations. Its members represent solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal service and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA continues to be a leader in addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities. Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a strong voice for increased diversity of federal and state judiciaries, advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes professional development of minorities in the legal profession.


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